Our Ethos and Curriculum
We are passionate that every child is unique; their individuality is valued and the best education is provided for them so that they can become citizens of the world. Our commitment is to ensure excellence in a safe, happy, inclusive learning environment both inside and out. We believe that speaking & listening, reading and writing are keys that unlock all other subjects and we want our curriculum to open windows onto the world and instil a joy of learning.
Look below to see our vision, aims and values. This was developed with parents, staff and governors in 2016.
For pupils in the Foundation Stage, we are required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
While free schools are not required to follow the National Curriculum they are required to ensure their curriculum includes: English, maths and science, Religious Education and sex and relationship education at an age-appropriate level. We have chosen to follow the National Curriculum. All schools, including Free Schools such as Sparkwell, are required to have a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
We have links to the local community, e.g. a termly visit to Dartmoor Zoo and the local church. Some key features of our curriculum are:
Regular Forest School activities in the local Tin Woods led by Forest School trained practitioners
Regular visitors including artists and musicians
Visits out, e.g. Crownhill Fort, Plymouth Aquarium, local beaches and Dartmoor
Modern IT resources including iPads and Chromebooks
Key values to teach skills for life including responsibility and care for others
We value the Arts and have an Artsmark Award (2019) for our commitment to offering music, art, drama and dance and the Music Mark
Helping children understand environmental issues, we have a Green Flag, the highest Eco Schools award and the Forest School Association Recognised Provider status
Children are encouraged to make links between subjects, developing knowledge, skills and positive attitudes to learning in a range of contexts. We actively teach children how to learn and to develop their confidence, capability and passion.
Find out more about Forest School on our Forest School tab.
Our Curriculum statement and Teaching For Learning Policy can be found on the School Policies page.
We base our phonics teaching on the Read, Write Inc scheme and use the Ed Shed spelling programme from Years 1 to 6. We use a wide variety of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star.
We do not set homework but do expect regular reading at home, spelling practice and practice to recall number facts including times tables.
We base the content of our teaching on the National Curriculum. We teach RE based on the Lambeth scheme of work and teach the RHSE curriculum.
Teachers have subscriptions to a range of teaching and learning materials to support teaching and we have developed progression maps for each subject.
Click here to see the KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum.
Due to our mixed year groups we have a 2 year rolling programme, see this on the right.
Further details on each subject, the content and our end points can be given on request from the school office.